Andrés Isaac Roemer Slomianski is a Mexican Jewish diplomat, attorney, economist, think tank founder, and author of 16 books and two award-winning plays. He Received his graduate degrees from Berkeley and Harvard. He has been working as a civil servant since 1994. He has served in a variety of government posts, including a previous position as Mexico’s consul general in San Francisco. His most recent position was an ambassador to UNESCO.
Andrés Isaac Roemer Slomianski, the grandson of Ernesto Roemer, a Viennese conductor who escaped from the Nazis, was fired from his position as an ambassador over his reluctance to cast a ballot in favor of the recent UNESCO resolution denying the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and Western Wall on Friday.
In a personal protest, Roemer walked out of last week’s vote in Paris, leaving his deputy to cast the country’s vote. He also apparently contemplated resigning his post, but was urged not to by Israel’s ambassador Carmel Shama HaCohen, who wrote him a personal letter praising him as a friend of the Jewish state.
The resolution, sponsored by several Arab countries and passed Thursday in the committee stage of the United Nations cultural body, referred to the Temple Mount and Western Wall only by their Muslim names and condemned Israel as “the occupying power” for various actions taken in both sites.
Mexico was one of the 24 countries that voted in favor of the resolution. Six nations, including the United States, Germany and Britain, voted against and another 26 abstained.
Following the vote, Israel suspended cooperation with the UN cultural organization. In a letter sent to UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett accused the body of ignoring “thousands of years of Jewish ties to Jerusalem” and aiding “Islamist terror.”
An official statement from the Mexican government said that Slomianski was fired “for not having informed diligently and with meticulousness of the context in which the voting process occurred, for reporting to representatives of countries other than Mexico about the sense of his vote, and for making public documents and official correspondence subject to secrecy.”
As a result of the controversy, on Tuesday Mexico said it would change its vote to an official “abstention” in recognition of the “undeniable” Jewish cultural heritage in Jerusalem. A symbolic gesture that will not change the outcome of this ridiculous resolution. However, for the first time since 2010, Mexico will oppose a proposal by the Palestinian-Arab bloc in UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.